Flickr photo by Max Santa Cruz, May 2010

Around this time of year, our email inbox gets flooded with questions about if there’s going to be a Cuban Music Festival at Echo Park Lake. We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but we’ve confirmed with official organizers that there will not be a Cuban Music Festival this year.

The Cuban Music Festival is usually held annually at Echo Park Lake – this year would have been its 18th year. It celebrates Cuba’s Independence from Spain on May 20, and Cuban poet José Martí (you may have notice his statue at the corner of the park).

Last year’s festival was canceled due to funding issues. A representative from Duval Productions says they hope to come back next year when the lake rehab has completed.

Screenshot from

Tonight, the city is holding an Oversight and Odor Monitoring Committee meeting for those interested in getting updates on and ask questions about the Echo Park Lake rehabilitation project. Only 11 months left of the project – we’ll find out if things are moving along as planned.

The meeting is today, Monday, April 30, 2012, at 6:30 pm, at the St. Paul Episcopal Cathedral in the “Joseph and Child” room.

St. Paul Episcopal Cathedral is located at 840 Echo Park Ave.

For the week of Monday, April 30 through Sunday, May 6

Tanlines, Rewards, Gothic Tropic @ Echo
Jon Benjamin Has a Tour @ Echoplex
Melpo Mene @ Origami Vinyl
Open Mic Night hosted by David & Jayson @ Tribal Café
The Fold NIght Market, The Downtown Train, Cuckoo Chaos, Gangi, Reighnbeau, Corridor @ Bootleg Bar
Motown Mondays @ The Short Stop
John Carpenter, Sketch Monster, The Crystelles, Dead Dawn @ Los Globos
Juke Joint Blues Duo (Tevis Hodge Jr. and Christopher Yarrow) at Stories Books & Cafe

Open Mic Night hosted by John Schneider @ Tribal Cafe
Ocha La Rocha, Gwendolyn, Dallas Don, Magic Mirror @ Bootleg Bar
Betty White, The New Room, Adult Books, LOLcats @ Lot 1 Café

Aquarium Drunkard Presents: Willis Earl Beal with Emily Kokal @ Echo
Dub Club Presents: 2 Rooms Of Musical Madness With Peaking Lights, Secret Circuit, Deadly Dragon Sound System, Carl Meeks, Screechy Dan @ Echo & Echoplex
Carolina Chickadee @ Taix Lounge
Open Mic Night hosted by Victoria @ Tribal Café
Sophie Barker (Zero 7), The Janks, White Dove (formerly Monster) @ Bootleg Bar
Live Jazz every Wednesday night at 7:00 pm @ Downbeat Café
TV girl, wildcat wildcat, pageants @ Los Globos
DJ David Delano, Newage Dave, Jake Peterson, Sammy Max, Oscar Gerard, Mikey Made + more @ Los Globos
Tic Tic Boom! @ Lot 1 Café

Origami Vinyl and Hit City USA present: Papa, LA Font, Busy Living @ Echo
Iheartcomix, Media Contender, The Echo & Spin Present: Check Yo Ponytail 2: Tiga, Damian Lazarus, Light Year, Franki Chan @ Echoplex
Cave Country EP Release, RT n the 44’s, Haroula Rose and Levi Strom @ Echo Country Outpost
Carina Round @ Origami Vinyl
Morris Tepper, 5 Track @ Taix Lounge
Joke Juice Comedy Night @ Tribal Café
Greenhorse, Tha Boogie, Planet Booty @ Bootleg Bar
Psych Garage Night @ Lot 1 Café

Noah and The Megafauna @ Echo
Friends of Friends present: ‘Salton Sea’ Release Party with Tomas Barfod, Shlohmo, Salva, Groundislava, Suzanne Kraft @ Echoplex
Le Couturier @ Origami Vinyl
Abe Lincoln Story, Spain @ Taix Lounge
Sinceras Collective Art Show @ Tribal Café
Ian Cooke, Shenandoah Davis, David Shane Smith @ Bootleg Bar
Boats and Birds @ Los Globos

Allo Darlin’, The Wave Pictures, Yellow Red Sparks @ Echo
Bootie La @ Echoplex
Funky Sole @ Echo
Omar Perez, Jose Promis @ Taix Lounge
Open Mic Night @ The Fretted Frog
Stone Soup @ Tribal Café
The Pentimento Campfire Tour: Toh Kay (feat. Tomas from Streetlight Manifesto), Sycamore Smith, Dan Potthast @ Bootleg Bar
Drinko de Mayo Fest @ Los Globos
Colin Ambulance, Danny Bobbe, Amanda Frances, Nora Keyes art show @ ecos gallery

Grand Ole Echo with Angela Bruyere, Brian Spence & The T.H.H., Grant Langston & The Supermodels/Hot Club de LA @ Echo
Part Time Punks @ Echo
Kick Everything @ Origami Vinyl
French Toast Comedy @ Taix Lounge
SoCal Hip-Hop and Electronica Showcase @ Tribal Café
The Pentimento Campfire Tour: Toh Kay (feat. Tomas from Streetlight Manifesto), Sycamore Smith, Dan Potthast @ Bootleg Bar
Super Soul Sunday @ The Short Stop
The LockWest @ Los Globos

Visit the venue websites for more information on the cost and times of shows. Feel free to add more events in the comment section. All events listed are subject to change at any time, and new events announced for the week after this posting may not be included. Visit our Weekly Events page for more neighborhood events, shows and specials.

The 12th Annual Festival of Childhood held by the local Echo Parenting & Education takes place tomorrow, April 28, 2012 from 1-5:00 pm.

In conjunction with The Day of the Child, National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and International Spank Out Day, the festival promotes parental self care as well as an understanding of child development:

The message of the Festival of Childhood is that violence is something that is learned. When we raise children with kindness and compassion, they grow to be kind and compassionate adults, who aren’t likely to use violence as a tool. It’s a day when families can experience the possibility of nonviolence in the world!

The event will include a rock climbing wall, face painting, gardening, clay play, button-making, music, story time, street painting, and more.

Live performances include Bob Baker Marionettes, Eco Hero Kids, Birdie’s Playhouse, Children’s Nature Institute, Tierra Blanca and expert parenting speakers.

The free festival will be held in the basement of the Echo Park United Methodist Church Building at 1226 N. Alvarado Street.

Email with questions.

Echo Park Now reader Javier was having lunch at Red Hill today (lucky you!) when he took found a male Lab mix running around. The dog has no tags or a chip, but looks like such a happy one that there’s got be someone looking for him.

Contact us if you know anything about this pup!

Got any plans for Saturday? Cancel them! This weekend is the 23rd Annual La Gran Limpieza: The Great Los Angeles River CleanUp.

The community, family-friendly event is on April 28, 2012 from 9:00 am to noon. To entice you a little more, there will be gift giveaways, raffle prizes, entertainment and refreshments at each site. The event is part of Keep America Beautiful’s (KAB) nationwide Great American Cleanup™ day of service,

There will be 15 river clean-up sites, it looks like the closest one to us in Echo Park might actually be the Arroyo Seco cleanup site.

Each year going back to 2004, FoLAR publishes a trash report of what they find and how much in the LA River – from clothes to plastic film, metal, styrofoam, beverage containers, molded plastic, and glass. Some of the strangest items they’ve found include phone booths, cars, swords, and even old saunas. They expect 25 tons of garbage to be removed. Check FoLAR’s website for maps and more information.

Echo Park Trash Abatement Project (TAP) will have a small table at the Echo Park Farmers’ Market on Friday, April 27 from 4-6:00 pm with information and sign-up sheets. Otherwise, click here to sign up online!


This adorable munchkin was found on Saturday, April 21 near Fix Coffee at Echo Park Avenue and Baxter. The owners must miss this one – don’t you just want to pinch those cheeks?

Contact us if you know anything about this found dog.

We’re thoroughly looking forward to yet another successful Echo Park Art Walk this year – taking place on Saturday, May 19 all around Echo Park. Planning stages are in full force, and organizers are asking for the community’s help. This event wouldn’t happen without the participation of the community – it takes a village!

Echo Park Public Displays of Art’s (PDA) annual art walk started as a small event involving businesses and artists along Echo Park Avenue. Now it’s expanded to Sunset Boulevard, as far as Alvarado. The Art Walk is a community event filled with music, art exhibits, store sales, film screenings, food trucks, workshops, and even sidewalk chalk and bubbles for the kids.

Get involved by going to a community meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, April 24 at 7:00 pm. Share your ideas for the Art Walk, and just learn more about how to get involved. Meet at the Echo Park Time Travel Mart at 1714 W. Sunset Boulevard. RSVP here!


For the week of Monday, April 23 through Sunday, April 29

KXLU and KSPC Present Monday Night Residency: So Many Wizards, Batwings Catwings, Moses Campbell, Body Parts @ Echo
Sean Carnage presents: Baby Birds Don’t Drink Milk, Vehicle Blues, Kevin Greenspon, Bachsung @ Pehrspace
Monday Night Open Mic Night hosted by David & Jayson @ Tribal Cafe
Grace Woodroofe, Busy Living (feat. Mike Moonves of Chief), Lucy Schwartz, COYOL @ Bootleg Bar
Motown Mondays @ The Short Stop

Pageants, E.S.P @ Echo
Check Yo Ponytail 2: Hype Williams, Gatekeeper, James Ferraro, White Car, Slow Motion DJ’s @ Echoplex
Victoria Cordova’s Open Mic Night @ Tribal Cafe
State to State, Palace Ballroom, Echoes De Luxe, Battles Tapes @ Bootleg Bar
DJ Thergood, Yukmouth, Big Kush Jay @ Los Globos

Caveman, Henry Wolfe, So Many Wizards @ Echo
Dub Club with special guest DJ Rakkas Crew @ Echoplex
Automatik Eden @ Taix Lounge
Live Jazz every Wednesday night at 7:00 pm @ Downbeat Café
Open Mic Night hosted by Leo Margul @ Tribal Cafe
Manda Mosher, Merle Jagger, Scott Bartenhagen, Ralph Torrefranca @ Bootleg Bar
DJ JL, Android Cartel @ Los Globos

Black Flamingo, Spirit Vine, Raw Geronimo, The Dignitary Loss of Richard Roe, Exploding Flowers @ Echoplex
Vetiver, Big Search, Bouquet @ Echo
The Authentic Sounds of Silverlake, AK & Her Kalashnikovs @ Taix Lounge
Dr. Lou’s Open Mic Night @ Tribal Cafe
Simone White, The Healing Machine, Brown and Blue, Sanglorians @ Bootleg Bar

Girl In A Coma, Pinta Protest, Sara Radle @ Echoplex
Aquarium Drunkard presents: Fruit Bats, Gold Leaves, A House For Lions @ Echo
Owls, House Boat @ Pehrspace
Fletchers Castorians, Creekbird @ Taix Lounge
Secure Sounds @ Tribal Cafe
The Bright Light Social Hour, Jonneine Zapata, The Violet Lights @ Bootleg Bar

Footlong Development & Keistar Productions Present: The Original Prince & MJ Party Soul Slam 8 @ Echoplex
Funky Sole @ Echo
Electric Flower Group, Sleepy Owl, Last in Class, The Shrine @ Bootleg Bar
Mothers of Gut, Habits, Old Monk, Michael Rey and The Woebegones, Virginia Reed @ Pehrspace
Tim Russ, Artie Vegas Revue @ Taix Lounge
Edgar Ruiz & Friends, Juliett Rivas @ Tribal Cafe
Paul & The Kir, Fogelfoot @ Los Globos

Adam Shenkman Presents: The Breakfast Show! @ Echo
Grand Ole Echo @ Echo
FYF & Iheartcomix Present: Tragedy, Nails, Skin Like Iron, Children Of God @ Echoplex
French Toast Comedy @ Taix Lounge
Open Mic Night @ Tribal Cafe
Sweet Hearts with Priscilla Ahn and Charlie Wadhams, The Parlour Suite @ Bootleg Bar
Super Soul Sunday @ The Short Stop

Visit the venue websites for more information on the cost and times of shows. Feel free to add more events in the comment section. All events listed are subject to change at any time, and new events announced for the week after this posting may not be included. Visit our Weekly Events page for more neighborhood events, shows and specials.

A couple of candles and flowers decorate the Dick Clark mural on Glendale Boulevard, under the Sunset Bridge, in Echo Park.

Thinking about bringing home a new best friend? You’re in luck!

Fur Baby Rescue is hosting an all-breed adoption event at BlueCollar in Echo Park on Sunday, April 22 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Fur Baby Rescue is a non-profit, no-kill shelter located in Downtown LA. BlueCollar is located at 1533 Echo Park Avenue.

Hipsters rejoice! Tomorrow is the annual Record Store Day – where independently owned record stores across the country celebrate music with special vinyl and CD releases. Echo Park’s Origami Vinyl and Mono Records are participating this year with some special events of their own:

Origami Vinyl

Open at 8:00 am with coffee and snacks from Stories Books & Cafe. Shoppers will be allowed in ten at a time, and the first 300 people get an Origami Vinyl/Generic Surplus Record Store Day tote bag free with purchase. They’ll also have some more special give-aways, and you even go to The Echo patio to listen to your purchases or check in your bag at the “vinyl valet” while you enjoy the show.

Starting at noon on The Echo patio will be eight bands and guest DJs – but if you can’t make it to the show check out the live stream at Bands include:

Big Black Delta @ 7:00 pm
Henry Clay People @ 6:00 pm
Electric Guest @ 5:00 pm
Races @ 4:00 pm
Zammuto @ 3:00 pm
Electric Flower Group @ 2:00 pm
Jenny O @ 1:00 pm
All Tiny Creatures @ Noon

Guest DJs spinning in Origami Vinyl:

Jason Kramer from KCRW
Shaun Koplow from Anticon
Jason from Dub Club/Punky Reggae
Matt & Patrick from Light in the Attic
Alyssa Bailey from KXLU
Angela Asistio from KXSC
Jen Ferrer from KXSC
Cristina Ramirez from KXLU
Chris Ziegler from LA Record

Check out the store’s Facebk page for more info.

Mono Records

This will be a great opportunity to finally get our butts over to the new Glendale Boulevard record store, which just opened a few months ago. They’ll have the STAX “Flipside of Stax” 45 boxes available, and of course a sale: All wax under $10 is 20% off, over $10 is 15% off the entire day. Store opens at 10:00 am.

There are a ton of other Los Angeles record store locations celebrating the day, check out LAist for the details.

There are a lot of things going on at the Echo Park and Edendale Library branches, click here for a review of ongoing classes and events. But there are a lot of other great things happening in the next couple of months that we try to keep up on, including:

Poetry Collage program at Edendale Branch Library

The “Words That Inspire Poetry Collage Program” takes place on on Thursday, May 19 at 5:30-7:00 pm.

Teens are invited to discover the voices of diverse poets, and create their own collage of words and images. This event celebrates National Poetry Month at the Los Angeles Public Libraries. Email

Edendale Branch LA Public Library is located at 2011 W. Sunset Blvd.

LACMA art classes at the Echo Park Library

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Echo Park Library are providing free family art classes every Thursday evening from 4:00-5:00 pm. LACMA professionals will be on hand to help you find your inner Picasso! For more information, please contact the Echo Park Library at (213) 250-7808.

GED on Wheels at Edendale Branch Library

Every Thursday from 2:30-4:30 pm at Edendale Branch Library.

MFN is a non-profit organization that works to empower local residents with educational tools for economic success.  Our goal is to help as many high school dropouts become college and career ready so they will have the ability to earn a sustainable living wage. On January 14, 2012, MFN  launched GED on Wheels (SM) at the Edendale  Branch Library. GED on Wheels  (SM) is a free mobile GED service and we provide TABE Tests, Official GED OPTs, and workshops on the GED Essay or GED Math. The GED can be the first step to new  found personal success. Students prepare to succeed by learning helpful test taking strategies and becoming familiar with the format of the GED Test. They review and evaluate their abilities in English, Reading, and math. Instruction on the use of the Casio FX 260 Calculator is also included. Although this workshop is not intended as a substitute for an all inclusive GED Program, it can serve as an indicator of your their needs. The workshop is 2 hours.

This event is free and open to the public. Our program complements the library goals and interest of adult education in the community.

Free Drama West performances at Edendale Library

Drama West is presenting another wonderful and free series of original one-act play readings at Edendale Library on Saturday, April 21 from 2-4:00 pm. For more information, please call the library at 213-207-3000.

Apparently a lot!

Glendale Boulevard at Berkeley is getting a new 7-11, and a presentation at the last week’s neighborhood council Planning & Land Use Committee revealed plans for another location at Alvarado Street and Beverly Boulevard. The map above is a screenshot of several 7-11 stores in Echo Park and the immediate area, with the purple dots showing locations for the  twonew stores.

The Beverly Boulevard and Alvarado Street 7-11 location will be part of a larger demolition and rebuild of a service station at 2041 Beverly Boulevard. It sounds like the state of the existing building is pretty bad, and could use a serious boost. But even committee members at the Planning & Land Use meeting asked if there would be alternative vendors other than 7-11, especially since there’s one on Beverly Boulevard just down the road. A quick search on the franchise’s website for our zip code, and there are at least six 7-11 stores within a two mile radius (not including the new ones).

However, it looks like the deal is done, and the property owners have already negotiated the establishment of a 7-11 store at the revamped location. But permits still need to be granted, and the neighborhood council has asked for hours of beer and wine sales to be reduced just as the Glendale Boulevard location has done.

Time is running out to purchase your tickets to the Elysian Heights Elementary School Family Fun night!

In N Out burger will be serving up your pre-purchased meals at the school on Monday, April 23 at 6:00 pm as part of a fund raiser benefiting the 6th grade field trip to Catalina Island Marine Institute – a trip that costs about $7,500.

But it’s worth every penny – once in middle school myself, my 8th grade class took a similar trip and it was one of my best experiences growing up. A lot of kids never leave their neighborhood, and the trip is an educational program providing them with hands-on marine biology and island ecology lessons. They’ll get to hike around the island, snorkel, experience marine fish and wildlife, pet a shark, and even do a plankton tow along with dolphin excursions.

The cost of the trip includes the student’s camp fee, all activities, all meals, Catalina Express transportation, lodging, teacher chaperones, and supplies. 75% funds realized from this event will directly support the field trip. The remaining 25% of the funds go to the IN-N-OUT Child Abuse Foundation.

Tickets for the Family Night are $6 and gets you burger, chips, and a soft drink. There will be a demonstration by the students at 6:15 pm in the auditorium. Dinner will be at the school from 5-6:00 pm.

Get your tickets today! Tickets are only available until noon tomorrow, and can be picked up no later than noon on April 18 in the school office.

If you are unable to attend, but would you or your company would like to make a tax-deductible donation, please contact the school office at 323.665.6315